6 September 1998
Executive Must be Established - Adams
On the eve of a meeting with David Trimble, and following a week in which new momentum was injected into the peace process through a series of Sinn Fein initiatives, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP today said: ``there is a political and democratic imperative to implement the Agreement''.
Mr Adams again asserted that there are ``no preconditions in the Agreement for the speedy establishment of all elements of the Agreement or for participation in the new institutions by any mandated party''.
The Sinn Fein President also spelt out Sinn Fein's position on decommissioning. He reaffirmed Sinn Fein's commitment to using ``our influence positively. But to say there can be no executive, no institutions, no structures, unless we deliver decommissioning - that's not in the Agreement. Nor is it something which Sinn Fein can deliver''.
The full text of Mr Adams statement
``Sinn Fein have again demonstrated our commitment to establishing a just and lasting peace and an open democratic channel toward a united Ireland. The Agreement, negotiated in good faith by the two governments and most of the parties, agreed the structures which are the essential building blocks for its full implementation, and through it a democratic peace settlement.
``However, following the first meeting of the Assembly an impasse emerged around Unionist refusal to talk to Sinn Fein. Our recent initiative appears to have removed that obstacle.
``Mr. Trimble as First Minister must now deliver on his pledge to build a pluralist society by moving to regularise his relationship with the Sinn Fein party and to implement the Agreement which he negotiated on Good Friday.
``The Agreement itself sets out the next steps; the establishment of the Executive, the policy and implementation bodies, and the all-Ireland Ministerial Council. There is a time-frame for these structures and for the programmes of work for the implementation bodies. That time frame has to be adhered to. There are no preconditions in the Agreement for the speedy establishment of all elements of the Agreement or for participation in the new institutions by any mandated party.
``Any attempt to insert preconditions which are not part of the Agreement runs against the letter and the spirit of the Agreement and risks subverting it. The Good Friday Agreement is clear on the issue of decommissioning. It is part of an overall process of conflict resolution which involves many other inter-related aspects.
``Decommissioning is not a pre-condition, it is not a pre-requisite to the establishment of the Executive and other institutions, nor to their full operation. The Agreement must be implemented in full and we are committed to fulfilling in good faith our commitments. We are doing our best. That is why we took the initiatives we took this week. That is why we appointed Martin McGuinness to represent our party with the Decommissioning Body.
``We will use our influence positively. But to say, as some have, there can be no executive, no institutions, no structures, unless we deliver decommissioning - that's not in the Agreement. Nor is it something which Sinn Fein can deliver. To block the establishment of the Executive and other institutions and structures agreed in April would be in clear breach of the spirit and letter of the Agreement and ignores the overwhelming endorsement of that Agreement by the people of Ireland.
``We are committed to carrying out the Agreement in all its parts, in the timescale. Are others prepared to do the same?
``For their part the two governments have the responsibility to fill any vacuum resulting from unionist reluctance to fulfil their commitments.
``The hopes and wishes of the Irish people for a peaceful future, expressed in the referendum and the elections, must be realised.''
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